My Garden Doctor
By Francis Duncan
I had no idea so much skill and deftness was necessary in turning around and starting the furrow again. It was nearly ten when he un-hitched the horses from the plough, wiped his forehead which was curiously white, threw the extra whiffletree into the wagon, and began fastening the horses back into their old places.
“I have delayed you greatly, I’m afraid,” I said. “Shall you be too late for loading the wood?”
He hesitated, looked at me keenly a moment, glanced nervously toward the house, then a sudden smile broke, he grinned like a boy, showing very white teeth, and his blue eyes laughed.
“The logging’s an excuse,” he said softly. When it comes May, I just have to go to the woods, the trees are calling—I can’t help it any more than those Hamelin children could help going after the Piper. Soon as the maples are out they fairly holler to me—I just take a week or so and say nothing to anybody. I have to go just like the bees go to that old orchard ‘way up the hill; when it’s in blossom, it calls them and they come. There’s no one in Enderby Hollow knows what the May woods are like but me! All the men-folks are ploughing and planting; all the women-folks are house cleaning. It’s only the children that’d answer. They hear the woods calling plain enough; but them, they shut up in school ‘cept Saturday, and then they get chores enough to keep them busy—so they don’t get too close to the Lord’s miracle. And they teach them Easter and the Resurrection shut up indoor. Out of a Sunday-school quartly, when the bloodroot on the hillside is white as the garments of the Resurrection Angel, and every tree in the wood is a-tremble with the mystery of death transfigured into life!”